8. 11. 2014

Design Trust is pleased to announce the inaugural grant fellows for its 2014-2015 Research Fellowship Grant (co- issued with M+) and Cultural Project Grant, funding two highlight projects that advocate design, debate and creative sharing.

MAP Office, the Hong Kong-based artist duo Valerie Portefaix and Laurent Gutierrez have been selected as the successful applicant for the inaugural Design Trust Cultural Project Grant. Titled Hong Kong Is Land, MAP Office will be working with eight specific communities locally, exploring their unique culture and economy, and imagining these in the shape of eight artificial islands evenly distributed in the territory. The proposal for this project, with a total sponsorship of HK$150,000, is to establish an inventory about uneven growth in the city of Hong Kong. The resulting islands are optimistic visions for the future, exploring scenarios that may subsequently serve as paradigms for urban planning, housing density, as well as population growth. The project will travel internationally, first to MoMA in New York and then to MAK Vienna, the first time art from Hong Kong will be showcased on a global scale, with an expected audience number in excess of one million.

“In the context of Hong Kong, where land is limited and development hyper dense, the city’s future stability is a cause for major concern. Our model of an island scheme, making use of Hong Kong’s 200 plus islands, mostly uninhabited, is a research project building on our experience and findings over the past 20 years of mapping. We are delighted to receive the Design Trust Cultural Project Grant which will enable us to explore and construct new methodologies for the sustainability of our city’s future ecology.” state MAP Office.

Concurrently, Fan Ling has been selected as the winner of the M+ / Design Trust Fellowship 2014-2015 (Research Fellowship Grant). A speculative designer, educator and entrepreneur working to bridge creative talents with social and business problems, Fan’s project Hong Kong As An Archetype: Revisiting Modernist Ideas of the City and its Urban Forms was chosen out of 40 other applicants in the running. This research, receiving a monthly stipend of HK$40,000 for 6 months, focuses on an archetypal interpretation of Hong Kong’s modernist urban forms. Exploring the dialectics surrounding the complex phenomenon of urbanization, poised between two major concepts of political power (as expressed by Beijing) and economic power (as represented by Hong Kong), Fan seeks to illuminate a critical understanding of the idea of a contemporary Chinese city in its varying incarnations.

“My research aims to recuperate the idea of the Chinese city as a modernist project beginning in the 1940s, thereby arriving at an understanding of the underlying logic quintessential to our city’s built environment. The fellowship will enable me first to reconstruct the modernist history of Hong Kong’s urban forms, an area of scholarship relatively overlooked, and second to interpret these findings in comparison with Beijing, as archetypes, thereby contributing to the continuing discourse and theories of our city’s evolution,” Fan Ling explains.

Design Trust is proud to support both of the successful projects, as a new initiative under the registered non-profit Hong Kong Ambassadors of Design (HKAoD). Core to its vision, Design Trust will serve as a dynamic platform that promotes creativity, by providing flexible and responsive funding for projects that stimulate design talent, research initiatives and content related to Hong Kong and the GPRD.